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Old 01-22-2012, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,240 posts, read 13,973,872 times
Reputation: 6062

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Or has it been two weeks? I've been so busy I think I've lost track of days!!

It's going wonderfully though. The Director and the County Executive both have given me the green light to take over the management of the shelter. Mike - the Director - is able to be out in his truck all day doing what he needs to do. I've made a TON of changes to the shelter and put all new policy in place, changed adoption fees and procedures, established contacts with about 70 different rescues in the eastern US as well as tons of volunteers and networkers. I got a volunteer group in place (waiting for them to call and let me know when they can start) that will come by in the morning and do all the cleaning and feeding / watering of the dogs. I asked the County Executive to have the shelter enclosed because it was just too cold and that's been completed already. They still need heat in there and I'll head to his office on Monday and talk to him about that. Monday night it's supposed to be below freezing so we really need to get something in place before then. Insulation and another heater or something.

Dogs have been fantastic. Two were scheduled for euth when I started working there because Mike said they were biters. Turns out one had just been a stray so long he was afraid of people, but once he was in the shelter and people were bringing him food and water and clean bedding daily he started to warm up. He's now in a foster home. The other turned out to be a little pittie puppy that was so freaking adorable. And yes, he did bite Mike, but it's that puppy biting. He's got no bite inhibition and needs to spend some time at Ronni Boot Camp, but his owner came and claimed him before I could snag him. I hope they do something, but I know they're the kind of owner that won't.

The only problem I'm having so far is with the girl that's been volunteering since October. She's a paid part time employee as of tomorrow. I met her yesterday for the first time. She didn't know I'd be at the shelter and she showed up about four hours late. I'd already fed and watered all the dogs by that time. She was ghost white when she got there and saw me. As soon as she came in and noticed the kennel cards were different and there was a colored card system to keep her from adopting out dogs that weren't legally allowed to leave the building, she had a fit. We spent all day butting heads.

Mike and the County Executive have expressed concerns about her already and are regretting their decision. I tried to explain that she's a valuable employee and I'm there for the admin stuff only, but she didn't like that. She thinks it's her office (my office, already been given the keys) and that she can run the place herself. Considering she's illegally adopted one dog to someone that was on hold for an animal abuse case and sent another out unaltered to someone that's been adopting them and breeding them, she's obviously not real qualified to do that. She's sent dogs to 'foster homes' and to date has lost ten of them. All the sudden no one knows where the dog went. So I told her yesterday she's not authorized to take any dog from the shelter, send it to or with anyone else and she's not allowed to approve applications. Those are now my jobs. That went over like a lead balloon. She's on the verge of being fired on her first paid day at this point.

Anyway, aside from her, things are great. I've got the media coming out to do newspaper and TV news reports this week. I got us set up with a spay / neuter clinic so that now all dogs that are approved for adoption go from the shelter to the clinic and then the adopters can pick them up. Policies are in place for rescues and fosters both. I sent 6 little pittie / boxer mix puppies home with a foster two days ago. I'm stopping at the schools tomorrow to talk to each Principal and let them know we're looking for a logo for the shelter and I'd like the kids to be able to participate. I want them to each do a logo and submit them in a week or so. I'll have the volunteers at the shelter go through them and pick the top five or so and ask the paper to publish them and let the public decide which they want for the logo. Then we'll have signs done for the shelter as well as staff and volunteer shirts.

I've got a group coming in to do a major cleaning inside. Once it's actually clean - it's so filthy right now - I'm going to have a local person with some artistic talent come sketch an outdoor cartoon type nature scene. Big colorful but basic flowers, puffy clouds, butterflies, etc. Then I'll see if the kids from the school want to come color it in. I'll toss a big piece of outdoor turf in front of it and hang 'ADOPT ME' letters or something across the top and that's where each of the dogs will have their photo taken for the Petfinder / AdoptAPet listings.

Making changes little by little. Hoping we can get more rescues involved and get more dogs pulled out of there. It's pretty full right now. I've got to go this morning and bring the big dogs in from the outdoor pens since we're supposed to get severe weather tonight. That puts us full again. They've not had to euth since early December and I don't want to start my first month there breaking that streak. All in all though, I'm really excited about it and loving it and think it's going to work out great!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,808,668 times
Reputation: 6616
Wow, I'm impressed and I'm sure you are so exicited to be implementing all these great things and have the support from the powers that be.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,645 posts, read 26,605,538 times
Reputation: 26590
You are AWESOME! But we already knew that.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:47 AM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,181 posts, read 7,018,639 times
Reputation: 6524
You are simply and truly a wonderful human being.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Lark Farm
4,321 posts, read 2,535,565 times
Reputation: 39375
WOW....what a difference you are making for those dogs!!!!!! GREAT WORK!!!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
1,457 posts, read 3,446,140 times
Reputation: 1471
Doesn't sound like you'll have a long term problem with that girl. All that work done already...amazing! And I love the outdoor scene idea! I've seen some pet photos with scenes of fields of sunflowers in the background, which really pops the black dogs/cats pictures. Keep up the great job, and I know it's going to work!
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:53 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,162,790 times
Reputation: 9611
Just amazing. And I know there's still a ton of work to do, but I love how you say "making changes little by little". Seriously, you think that's a little for a week or two?
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:01 AM
 
24,843 posts, read 32,288,103 times
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What more could I say?????

You go girl!!!!!!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,240 posts, read 13,973,872 times
Reputation: 6062
Quote:
Originally Posted by subject2change View Post
Just amazing. And I know there's still a ton of work to do, but I love how you say "making changes little by little". Seriously, you think that's a little for a week or two?
LOL. That made me laugh. When I started there I warned the shelter Director I have a tendency to over do things and take over without realizing it and if I started stepping on toes to just punch me in the face and I'd get the hint. He told me I can take over as much as I want to so I guess I kind of did.

What I've done so far is really the easy stuff. It's the big things that are going to cost the shelter money now that I've got planned - central heat and air install, insulation, vaccination and de-worm on intake protocol, etc. We'll see how happy they are with me next week.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:24 AM
 
6,472 posts, read 9,885,572 times
Reputation: 10899
Keep us updated.... I love reading about your progress. Great Job!!!
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